Things have definitely been different the past six months, but there is still plenty to see, do and celebrate. We've shared some awesome ideas like 100 Things to Do in Seattle Right Now or Very Soon and even a destination for 'little' overnight vacation at Leavenworth Tiny House Village. And speaking of fun things - birthdays are still happening and they deserve to be feted just like they were in the 'before times.' Refined caught up with event planner, artist, and all-around creative superstar, Brandy Brown to get the scoop on how to throw an epic Quaran-TEEN Birthday Party.
Seattle Refined: Brandy Brown from Marabou Design so great to see you! We’re all under quarantine now but life goes on, and that includes birthdays. You guys recently hosted a party for your daughter Ava, who was having kind of a milestone birthday.
Brandy Brown: She’s our only child, so every celebration is a first and a last - every milestone. So her turning 13 this summer I really had to think outside of the box.
I love this name you actually had - a Quaran -“TEEN” party!
Hosting a party during a quarantine is difficult but there’s a few tips that will get you through it. Tip number one, select a color palette for your party. We started with lemons - you know this is sort of a sour time for a lot of people. It’s been really difficult for us, so we decided to turn lemons into lemonade. We started with the color yellow, added in pops of silver and white and then ran with that theme. And from there, just integrated it into the desserts, the decor and so it sort of all tied it in together without it being a traditional theme party.
Awesome, and when it comes to guest lists obviously you can’t have a bunch of teenagers over to your house so how did you kind of handle that part?
Tip number two, make sure your guest list is intimate. I was really just taking the ordinance that was given of not gathering with more than a group of 10 people. So we just had a couple of family members and two of her friends - we knew were also practicing safe social distancing, and all masks were required by all guests, even the birthday girl!
How do you keep a bunch of young people occupied during quarantine and having fun during a party?
Tip number three have a fun activity. I shortened the time frame so it was an hour an a half, all outdoors and my husband and I created this fun corn hole game. It’s a great summer game where you’re socially safe from the next person. And we had lots of hand sanitizer!
So right now, a lot of small business are hurting. And I know you’re a big advocate for keeping small businesses in your mind and when you can - hiring them. So how did you make that work for the birthday party?
Tip number four, support your local businesses. I went to our go-to bakery which is Trophy Cupcakes. Hi Jennifer [Jennifer Shea is the founder and owner of Trophy Cupcakes]! Once I gave her my color palette and our vision of our party, she and her team created magical desserts that are just stunning.
Besides the delicious desserts, you had flowers.
I reached out also to a little florist shop, Anthera Floral where Melissa’s the owner and she created, I mean the most lovely little bouquets you’ve ever seen. And I also asked my dear friend Ellie Lillstrom to photograph this party. Everyone came through so it really was a village of Seattle locals that made this party so wonderful.
So Ava first of all, Happy Birthday! What are some of the ways your mom kind of made it special for you?
Ava: She made this beautiful balloon garland and she also like made the place setting so exquisite!
Did you feel properly celebrated on your 13th birthday?
Absolutely I don’t know if it could have been done better.
Do you have a birthday wish - or thought you could share with everybody about getting through quarantine?
Some ways people can get through this tough time whether it’s their birthday or not - are having kindness, thoughtfulness and helpfulness.
Awe - you guys are adorable. Brandy and Ava, thanks so much for sharing your awesome party ideas!